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, president obama condemned the attack in benghazi that led to the death of four americans including the death of ambassador chris steven. >> we will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act and make no mistake justice will be done. >> joining me chief foreign correspondent richard engel in cairo ro and nicolas burns former ambassador to nato and professor at the harvard kennedy school. first to you, richard, you've been out there all day. tell me about what's happening in cairo right now and your recap of what sparked the attacks both in cairo and benghazi? >> i think it's important to differentiate between the two because they're very different kinds of demonstrations and attacks. right now in cairo, there is still a demonstration going on, a couple hundred, maybe not even that many, hardline supporters, most of them were members of the islamic group, supporters of the old blind cleric, from the first world trade center attack. they have been organizing demonstrations in front of the u.s. embassy for a long time now and they were the core group that went
news. it's international. it's out of libya this evening in the city of benghazi. a mob descended on the u.s. consulate in benghazi today and set it on fire. witnesses say explosions were heard nearby and the men who attacked the american building were armed. there are conflicting reports about exactly how grave the attack was on the u.s. consulate. some are siting that a staffer, an american official was killed in the attack on the consulate. now while the state department has condemned the attack, officials are saying it's impossible to confirm the reporting about the potential death of a u.s. official in libya. at least at this time it is impossible to confirm it. nbc news is working to confirm that report. it's based on comments from a libyan official at this time. >>> also today in cairo, a group of protesters there breached the outer walls of the u.s. embassy in cairo. the embassy has been described as fortress-like. you can see that in some of the images. the protesters in cairo reportedly luted some of the buildings inside these outer walls after they breached the perimete
down the flag and didn't hurt anybody inside. in benghazi, the less like that it seems. it was a commando-style raid in benghazi where militants may have been angry about the same video but clearly moved in with a military style tactic. they had r the gs, heavy ma svein machine guns. it was two waves. that's not the spontaneous mob activity like we saw here in cairo. that's the kind of thing in benghazi carried out by a militant group, a terrorist group, by al qaeda potentially. and u.s. officials are looking in to that right now. also, wondering was it just a coincidence that the u.s. ambassador who's based in tripoli happened to be in benghazi at the very time of the attack? so, a lot of questions but it's clear now that these were two very different incidents. spontaneous uprising that resulted in no casualties here in cairo and a guerrilla assault in benghazi that killed the u.s. ambassador. >>> all right. here with us now is former u.s. ambassador mark ginsburg. mark, i want to start with the response yesterday from the u.s. embassy in cairo. what the statement the
in benghazi under way. sunday, libyan and u.s. officials had two very different versions of what happened. >> the way these perpetrators acted and moved, this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned. >> what happened in ben gghazi s a reaction to what had transpired hours before in cairo. >> as you see, two different versions of what supposedly happened in benghazi. protests plead spread into the weekend, the romney campaign argued the crisis exposes a stark contrast between the two candidates. >> if we project weakness, they come. if we are strong, they are -- our adversaries will not test us and our allies will respect us. >> ambassador susan rice fired back yesterday on "meet the press." >> with respect to this i think, vacuous charge of weakness, we have des mated al qaeda. osama bin laden is dead. i spend every day up at the united nations where i have to interact with 192 other countries, i know how with the united states is viewed. >> but the white house is facing growing questions about whether violent protests mean the president's early outreach to the muslim world has p
. now to libya. the new government firing the security chiefs pour benghazi today in the wake of last week's attacks on the u.s. consulate there that killed ambassador chris stevens and they're other americans. they have two different versions of that attack. >> the way these perpetrators acted and moved, this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned. >> what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo. >> we're live from benghazi, libya. an fbi investigation now under way there. why the two versions? what are you hearing on that? >> reporter: well, they're talking about two different parts of process. on the libyan side of things, they look it from the point of the attack very deliberately in the ways the weapons were used and ammunitions were used. they were evacuated to a safehouse, and the armed gunman proceeded to follow the americans to that safehouse and continue attacking that second location, which was at a very undisclosed area, if you will, away from the embassy or the consulate. the americans
states. at the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya's second largest city, at least one american staff member was killed after gunmen stormed the compound and burned it down. we've got some amateur video here into nbc news from the scene. if you listen, you can hear gunshots going off in the background. witnesses say the attackers were armed with automatic rifles, rpgs. libyan forces stationed there said to have little to stop the violence. >>> in neighboring cairo, angry protesters scaled the fortified walls of the u.s. embassy, destroyed the american flag and replaced it with a black islamic banner. most of the u.s. diplomatic staff had already been evacuated in anticipation of this protest. both incidents reportedly are reaction to a little-known amateur movie produced in the united states which ridiculed the prophet mohammed. it gained attention because an obscure florida pastor began promoting it, the same man who triggered deadly riots in afghanistan when he threatened to burn the koran. we want to go straight to cairo where we find nbc chief foreign correspondent, richard engel.
gadhafi and killed in a city, benghazi, that he helped to save. i understand that there are 200 marines being sent to libya. what do we know about the tk orders? >> 200 marines who are already in the region, they are aboard one of those flat-top helicopter carriers in the iranian sea. they are called amphibious ready groups, and they are called f.a.s.t. teams prepositioned in all parts of the world, but particularly the hot middle east region as we see here. it should not take long to get those 200 marines who will be particularly equipped for the mission there in tripoli. this is not some kind of military operation or a strike of any kind. they will be armed with small arms and anti-riot gear and the like as opposed to going in for a military strike or operation. now in addition to that preparations are under way, too, to send additional f.a.s.t. teams, maybe not in the same numbers, but one to cairo and one to kabul. we know from past experience there has been violent and deadly sectarian flare ups against americans in kabul over some of the actions of american troops there that were
assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo. almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. what we think then transpired in benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. they came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are readily available in post-revolutionary libya, and they escalated into a much more violent episode. >> nbc is live for us in benghazi, libya. let's talk about the u.s. officials who are on the ground now. how many of the suspects are in custody and are there any leads on other suspects? >> alex, we had the chance yesterday to speak to libya's president, head of the general national council here. he told us he did agree with ambassador rice on one point. he believes this was a sinister, preplanned attack. this was the hallmark of foreign militants who had come into libya to exploit the security vacuum here and planned a very specific attack against the united
developing news right now. we go benghazi, libya where the u.s. government is making a big push to investigate the killing of the u.s. annual bass door and three deaths there earlier this week. the libya president had will this to say when asked who was behind the attack. >> we have assumptions. we have some information.o say d the attack. >> we have assumptions. we have some information.say wh the attack. >> we have assumptions. we have some information. and on that information that we have, we will go after the perpetrators. >> ayman is on the phone with us. what else did the libya president have to say? >> reporter: well, really programs the most interesting information that came out about those perpetrators was that they are not all libyan and that certainly comes as a surprise. one of the things that he said was that the information the libyan authorities have is that in fact foreigners were involved in the planning and execution of this attack. and one of the reasons that comes as a huge surprise to many is that while the libyan government has struggled to establish law an
, white house press secretary for jay carney for the first time called the benghazi attack a terrorist attack. secretary of state hillary clinton, i want to play sound from her today, what she had to say about the after-action report on benghazi and libya. let's play that and talk about it. >> i am launching an accountability review board that will be chaired by ambassador thomas pickering. >> just by way of context, thomas pickering, a former u.n. ambassador, former russia ambassador as well. jonathan, this in some ways is what's next here in libya, turned into a political football last week. there's clearly foreign policy implications in how we manage ourselves in this tumultuous time going on here. >> in these tumultuous times in these countries where in the arab spring they rose up and revolted. clearly it's been determined by the obama administration, very important to get to the bottom of what really happened in benghazi. as we know, three americans were killed including ambassador christopher stevens at the consulate in benghazi. so there are a lot of questions that have to be a
. now members of congress from both parties are demanding answers. on the ground in benghazi, investigators can't even get to the scene. nbc's mike viqueira is joining us from the white house with more on this. mike, how big a deal is this reversal? >> reporter: well, it's very controversial and potentially a big deal. the question all along is ever since those september 11th attacks what caused them, what was the motivation for the people who killed four americans including the american ambassador. and at the beginning as everybody is well aware at this point, the white house insisted that these were spontaneous demonstrations, a reaction to that anti-islamic film, much like the demonstrations that had happened just hours earlier in cairo and subsequently swept through the muslim world from the middle east to indonesia. they denied that there was any terrorism link involved. from the beginning, republicans and other critics have questioned that. they said that the president and the administration have not wanted to admit a terror link in an election year around 9/11. they sa
. the powder keg is still conserving its powder, it seems. ironical ironically, benghazi remained pretty calm, perhaps the libyan government's quick crack down on perpetrators, a number have been arrested already. there's a man hunt going on if you believe what you hear from the libyan government. that's perhaps had an affect on tamping down the tension in benghazi. but the u.s. government's taking no chances. all u.s. diplomatic personnel evacuated to tripoli and only emergency staff being kept on at the embassy in the capital. as you mentioned in cairo, it's been another -- on the third day of protests -- another active day but not a lot of death -- no deaths spo-to-speak of. not too many people have been injured. so perhaps a second degree level of violence. overnight dramatic scenes near the u.s. embassy, which is about 500 yards behind me down the road next to the mosque, riot police charging forward, firing tear gas, trying in vain to disperse a crowd. this cat and mouse stand-off went on all day today. expecting to see it again later on. now the biggest concern, as you alluded to, is t
on benghazi, libya, tuesday. ambassador chris stevens, former navy s.e.a.l.s chris woods and glen doherty were killed in that attack along with sean smith. not long after the attack reports surfaced that it might have been the premeditated work of a radical islamic group retaliating for an american drone strike which had killed an al qaeda command leader. libyan officials said they had taken four men into custody in connection with the attack. they also said they thought the attack was meant to drive a wedge between americans and libyans. this may be true. but even with all that has happened in libya, the bigger challenge for the obama administration may be with what's taking place in egypt. where even before the attack on the u.s. consulate in libya protestors stormed the embassy in cairo and tore down the american flag. egyptian president muhammad morsi did not issue a statement until 24 hours afterwards. although he condemned the attack, he condemned the anti-muslim film. he even asked president obama to, quote, put an end to such behavior. president morsi's initial failure to come out with
," there was a strong security presence there. >> we had security personnel in benghazi,tragically, two were our security personnel. >> they directly contradict rice saying the two victims she referenced, glen doherty and tyrone woods, were part paof a security detail at the consul l.a. they say ambassador stevens had one security officer around a local militia. what is more, libyan officials say there were warning signs that the consulate might be targeted, including attacks on a british diplomat and red cross in benghazi. last tuesday's assault, they are saying, was not preplanned. >> it sin explicable and inexcusable that our personnel were not better protected. >> u.s. military testimolls nbc it is suspending joint operations with afghan forces in response to a growing number of insider attacks that killed more than 50 coalition troops so far this year. atia bowie is live in kabul. we are no longer training afghans to stand up as u.s. and nato troops stand down. what does this mean for the withdrawal? >> that is partly true and partly unruled. i call today for more clarification. they say th
benghazi being attacked and not about the pocketbook issues that people over their breakfast tables every morning talk about how they have to meet the challenge challenges. >> well, the argument could be made after the attack in benghazi, perhaps governor romney could have used that as a opportunity to make a swoo sweeping declaration of his foreign policy. >> hindsight is 20/20. >> that was two weeks ago. >> well, look, we can look back and make judgments on that and also make judgments on how president obama handled that. in the middle of what should have been a fog of intelligence information coming in, they come out to make unequivocal statements of how an attack on 9/111 had nothing to do with al qae qaeda, and put it this way, it is something that if they weren't simple incompetence, it is simple disingenuously. >> and you are not going to acknowledge that the romney campaign may have fumbled it a little bit as well. >> look, i think that we now know that both sides would have liked to have handle it differently, but what is important to note there is that, yes, governor romney has
'll have more detailed. how much has he been weakened by the benghazi attack? >> not hugely, to be honest because he struck, as lois said a dignified tone, the president's response was what you expect from the head of state, from national leader. you know, this is a -- clearly an incredibly messy situation, events were messy, libya has no central government that has effective control over its territory. argue that gadhafi didn't either. in a chaotic situation, it's natural that it takes time for the facts to emerge. you're also talking about a number of different splinter groups at work here. and, by the way, remarkable demonstrations that actually were riots in and of themselves pro-american and anti-militia led to the deaths of some of the militia members, as a result of those attacks. so you know, libya, even under normal conditions, was chaotic and dysfunctional. now, even more so. i don i don't know that you can credibly going into the e debat saying america should withdraw, we have no role in democracy spreading let's just not what you want to hear from a presidential candidate. on
of al qaeda. that's something we heard after the benghazi attack happened. where do you think we are now in terms of terrorism. obviously as the president said, the traditional al qaeda as we know it seems to have been decimated. top leaders including osama bin laden are gone but where are we? >> i think again that's a statement. the ail die is the al qaeda. there are mutant forms. there are a lot of wannabes and look-alikes. i think active terrorism in spite of the fact that the president rightly has given some credit for eliminated osama bin land, it's a misnomer and somewhat naive to say merely because you cut the head of the organization, now you have other groups affiliated, oftentimes rhetorically affiliated but others given guidance from others and the arabian peninsula. it ooh's dominant force in the region in cahoots from time to time with the iranian influence as well. we're going be dealing with activism terrorism, look-alikes and wannabes. >> i'm going to ask you to play chameleon again. this is a question people are thinking about. if you were a moderator at one of these deb
.s. consulate in benghazi that killed four americans. the top libyan security physician said the attack was possibly aided by infiltrators who knew the route that consulate staff was trying to use to escape. now, two americans killed in the attack were identified thursday as two former navy s.e.a.l.s. tyrone woods of portland, oregon, former military veteran and father of two and glen doherty from massachusetts. back at home mitt romney made sulgs jobs on foreign policy. campaigning in battleground virginia, romney offered this message. >> american leadership, the middle east needs american leadership and i intend to be a president that provides the leadership that america respects. >> and romney was relatively measured responding to this barb of the president concerning an interviewing on telemundo. >> i have observed there's a tendency to shoot without aim. >> asked about it, romney chose no, sir to swing back. >> the exact same conclusion the white house reached. the statement was inappropriate. that's why they backed away from it as well. >> but the romney campaign has escalated the
back on it. very late yesterday the white house says, okay, it was a terrorist attack in benghazi. when you're this close to an election, you can't help but ask -- are you 100% confident politics had nothing to do with sort of what looks like from the outside the white house dragging its feet on the explanation? >> look, on the specifics i will leave it to the white house to speak to because this is a serious matter and it's one -- i don't have security clearance. i can't speak to everything about that. but i know this -- it is not being treated as a political issue at the white house. and when you have an incident like this, your responsibility is to investigate it thoroughly and move deliberately and that's what they've done. and to simply jump in to this issue and mischaracterize it and find out later that you had would have been a terribly irresponsible thing to do. it is the kind of thing that governor romney did, frankly, at the beginning and we can't afford to do that when the president is actually a man who has responsibilities as commander in chief. >> you believe you're winnin
what happened in benghazi, libya was a terrorist attack and pledged to bring those who murdered ambassador chris stevens and the three others to justice. the secretary of state saying what happened in libya was a terrorist attack and will not rest until we've tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four americans. we'll have much more on the secretary of state as well as republicans who are not satisfied with the investigation thus far from the administration and from the state department. at least 15 people are dead in pakistan as a new wave of protests over the anti-islam film "innocence of muslim" turned violent. thousands of muslims protested in at least half a dozen countries. nbc is live in kabul, afghanistan. many thought we would see protests over the french cartoon released, but these are still again over this movie or film made in the united states. >> reporter: hi there, tamron. the protests were actually about both. the majority was pointed at that film. not enough information has gone out to many countries about those cartoons published in fr
as the crowd that was angry about the takes in benghazi. >>> suing theater owners, the first suit following the massacre that left 12 people dead and dozens wounded. >>> a 400 pound tiger mauled a man when the guy jumped off the moving monorail and into the den. that man is now expected to face criminal charges. back to politics. >>> gop vice-presidential nominee paul ryan went on the attack this morning going after president obama's remarks earlier this week on changing washington. right now, paul ryan is in orlando where he will be speaking in less than an hour. when that happens, we will bring it to you live here on msnbc. first, let's check in with msnbc's ron motte, who travels with paul ryan in the convention hall. good saturday to you, sir. >> reporter: they there, craig. good saturday to you as well. this campaign has realized they've been on their heels too long the last 10 to 14 days and want to reverse their fortunes. paul ryan did that in miami and in a big way for hispanic voters and want to get that voter support. he went to miami today and met that issue head on and said mitt
the september 11th attack on the consulate in benghazi, libya. calling it the result of protests the administration is now labeling it an act of terrorism. yesterday obama campaign senior adviser robert gibbs pushed back against accusations the administration is not telling the whole truth. >> no one intentionally or unintentionally misled anybody involved in this. absolutely not. >> the administration still insists that there is no evidence that the attack was preplanned but republicans believe the plot to be far more sinister and not driven by protests in response to a controversial anti-muslim video. >> i have seen no information that shows that there was a protest going on as you have seen around any other embassy at the time. it was clearly designed to be an attack. >> sam, the bumps in the road comment taken out of context. wasn't referring to the assassination of chris it stevens as a bump in the road. i would argue mitt romney has not used this opportunity to sell himself well in terms of foreign policy but the white house and the position it finds itself, doubling back f
gunmen staged a military style assault on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. the u.s. ambassador, christopher stevens and three other americans died in the assault carried out with guns, mortars and grenades. protests erupted in other countries in the middle east, north africa and the pacific rim with the most violent in cairo, egypt. they are blaming america for a film they say insulted the prophet mohammed. joining me is mona. i want to ask you for viewers that have been watching at home seeing the images. is this a tinderbox that is about to get worse. is this a growing movement or is this sort of something that came up by now is largely over? >> first, i would like to start by sending out my condolences to the family and loved ones of the four americans killed in libya and of the other people of various nationalities killed yesterday. at least 14 people were killed. each and every one of those deaths was utterly senseless without any reason or purpose. i think what you are seeing is a kind of i hope a dying cry of a very desperate right wing. we have very sensitive timing in
that this is not first and foremost a political story, this is likely a story that happened in benghazi. certainly it isn't great for them, on the other hand, president obama does have a strong record on terrorism, one that the public has appreciated and has shown up in the polls for quite some time. i think it's hard to argue that a foreign policy event coming this late in the campaign is going to trump the white house. >> we want to go to some early voting nowing going with you and the dnc, kicked off their early voting bus tour in iowa. ohio residents, they can start early voting day after tomorrow in ohio. it seems like the democrats have an early ground game this morning. >> it seems that republicans on election day, it could be as much as 40% of the electorate that weighs in before actually election day. it's one of the interesting parts of this campaign is figuring out if it's going to change the message, if it's going to change the message of the campaign. it's going to be more states and more people than it has been, in both absen tent and voting than it has been -- >> i do want to take a look a
at the u.s. consulate in libya that killed four americans. >> reporter: since the benghazi traj tragedy, your opponent has attacked you as being weak on national defense and weak on foreign policy. he said you need to be more aggressive in iran, you haven't done enough to support the revolt in syria and that our friends don't know where we stand and our enemies think we're weak. >> well, let's see what i've done since i've came into office. i said i'd end the war in iraq. i did. i said that we'd go after al qaeda. they have been decimated in the fatah. that we'd go after bin laden. he's gone. so i've executed on my foreign policy, and it's one that the american people largely agree with. you know, if governor romney is suggesting that we should start another war, he should say so. >> we're going to get to iran as well. the candidates were asked about that. but quickly, richard, on this question, explain the fine line the president is walking here, answering it. >> well, the president is out there defending his record. can i make a slightly related point on foreign policy? what's interes
when they said the administration lied about who was behind the attacks in benghazi, libya, senator john kerry called for rice to stay on. the republican party has severed ties with a virginia based consulting group it has paid $3 million to this year alone. the group is being investigated for voter fraud in nine counties in florida. right now, my story of the week. the republican bubble trap. if you follow politics, you've probably noticed that polling of the presidential election has swung quite decidedly in the president's favor over the last couple of weeks. the real clear politics polling average now has obama up 4.1 points over mitt romney in national poles. nate silver's prediction model put barack obama's odds of winning the election above 80% for the first time ever. swing state polling just this week seems to confirm the trend. a new quinnipiac "new york times" cbs poll shows surprisingly strong leads for the president. the galup tracking poll shows obama up six points. it's pretty hard to survey the polling data and not come to the conclusion that barack obama is beating
at benghazi and the embassies around the world, the question is why does that small group of muslims, radical muslims, hate sinus >> they want power. i think it's really a struggle for power, something that's going on in nearly every country across the region. in libya, you have a huge number of people who are out with signs professing their support for not just chris stevens who lost his life, you know, supporting peace and our relationship, but you have them saying, look, we apologize. same thing in several other countries. many of the leaders have expressed the same sentiments. and so i think we need to understand that as our country has local dynamics, these countries have local dynamics, too. and you have an emerging democratic movement. you also have these old regime loyalists, soccer thugs in the case of egypt, and even these, you know, more religious extreme elements where they're jockeying for power. >> what is it about america? why do they attack so violently, these groups? >> america is a symbol, right? america is a symbol. look who's keeping it up now. nasrallah in lebanon saying
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